opening: Things That Were Are Things Again

Sarah Sze, Still Life with Flowers, 1999, Foto Alexandra Ivanciu
Sarah Sze, Still Life with Flowers, 1999, Foto Alexandra Ivanciu

This year, GfZK will celebrate its 25th anniversary at Johannapark. Documents in our archive show that sustainability was already a concern at the time of its founding. Against this backdrop and in light of the intensifying climate crisis, we are addressing the ecological impact of our institution and actively looking for ways to make our work more climate-friendly.

With Things That Were Are Things Again, we are undertaking our first attempt to create a climate-neutral collection exhibition. The GfZK’s carbon impact, as well as the processes of conservation, production, and overproduction, are central to this aim. We ask ourselves to what degree do the collection and our exhibition program contribute to CO2 production and how can this be reduced? Together with artists, designers, and other participants, we are developing new works and presentation spaces from already used or new environmentally friendly materials to examine how we can reduce the energy and material consumption of GfZK. In both the exhibition spaces and in the garden, playful and experimental interventions are planned for the avoidance as well as for the binding of CO2.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a work by Dan Peterman, who is a significant representative of sustainable artistic practice. Things That Were Are Things Again also raises philosophical questions that inspired us during preparation for the exhibition: can all existence in the world be described as a story of infinite processes of transformation? How might it affect our behaviour to conceive of our own existence and our actions as part of this constant transformation? In addressing these questions, we are working on a climate-conscious attitude that we intend to anchor in institutional action.

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